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Today's Stichomancy for Barack Obama

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Essays of Francis Bacon by Francis Bacon:

both the lion's whelp and the ass between bur- thens; neither will it be, that a people overlaid with taxes, should ever become valiant and mar- tial. It is true that taxes levied by consent of the estate, do abate men's courage less: as it hath been seen notably, in the excises of the Low Countries; and, in some degree, in the subsidies of England. For you must note, that we speak now of the heart, and not of the purse. So that although the same tribute and tax, laid by consent or by imposing, be all one to the purse, yet it works diversely upon the


Essays of Francis Bacon
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Meno by Plato:

forth to contemplate the heavens, and are borne round in the revolutions of them. There they see the divine forms of justice, temperance, and the like, in their unchangeable beauty, but not without an effort more than human. The soul of man is likened to a charioteer and two steeds, one mortal, the other immortal. The charioteer and the mortal steed are in fierce conflict; at length the animal principle is finally overpowered, though not extinguished, by the combined energies of the passionate and rational elements. This is one of those passages in Plato which, partaking both of a philosophical and poetical character, is necessarily indistinct and inconsistent. The magnificent figure under which the nature of the soul is described has not much to do with the popular doctrine of the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Pupil by Henry James:

"He tries? Why he's twenty years old!" cried Mrs. Moreen.

"You're very witty," Pemberton remarked to the child - a proposition his mother echoed with enthusiasm, declaring Morgan's sallies to be the delight of the house.

The boy paid no heed to this; he only enquired abruptly of the visitor, who was surprised afterwards that he hadn't struck him as offensively forward: "Do you WANT very much to come?"

"Can you doubt it after such a description of what I shall hear?" Pemberton replied. Yet he didn't want to come at all; he was coming because he had to go somewhere, thanks to the collapse of his fortune at the end of a year abroad spent on the system of

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Under the Andes by Rex Stout:

remain in San Francisco. She did so, but with an apparent effort.

I have never seen a creature so full of nervous energy and fire; only by severe restraint could she force herself to even a small degree of composure. Harry was with her nearly every minute, though what they found to talk about was beyond my comprehension. Neither was exactly bubbling over with ideas, and one cannot say "I love you" for twenty-four hours a day.

It was a cool, sunny day in the latter part of October when we weighed anchor and passed through the Golden Gate. I had leased the yacht for a year, and had made alternative plans in case Le Mire should tire of the sport, which I thought extremely probable.